Natural Medicine has always promoted a style of life according to natural laws as the best way to prevent illness.
Natural laws are all based in moderation: adequate food, balance between rest and exercise, mental control. In one word, harmony at all levels.
To achieve harmony we can use a variety of therapies, among them Acupressure and Shiatsu, which work through the energetic Channels and Acupuncture points in order to calm what is in excess and stimulate what is deficient.
Our next Acupressure and Chair Massage starts on 21st of February: here is your chance.
How about, “centre of the goat smell“, which certainly conjures up strange associations especially as the point in question is situated directly between the breasts. We are not quiet sure how it got this name. However this same point in other texts is referred to as “the sea of tranquillity“ or “sea of Qi (energy)” which probable are more apt names for it as it is often used to calm emotional imbalances and aid concentration.
Within the points used in the acupressure massage sequence we teach we don’t stimulate the “centre of the goat smell” so there is no need to worry about releasing any strange odours! The sequence is focused on the back and buttocks, shoulders, head, neck, arms and hands and we work on points with intriguing names such as :-
Sea of vitality, Jumping circle, Shoulder well, Gates of consciousness, One hundred meeting point, Wind mansion, Crooked pond, Palace of anxiety.
These are a few of the many and varied descriptions you can come across for some of the points that we work on. If you have an explorative and enquiring mind it can be fascinating discovering the origins for the various names and if not, then it’s easy to just enjoy the richness of the verbal descriptions and the images they conjure up.
It is interesting to observe, at this time of the year, how while Nature is quiet and silent, we human beings are frantic with shopping, meals, meetings, parties, etc. We go through an explosion of energy which often damages, not only our pockets, but also our physical and emotional health. After all this it takes a lot to get back to the rhythm of Nature, which right now is starting its rebirth, but we need to make an effort.
For me, I need to prepare the terrain first, so I can build on it.
Firstly, my diet, increasing the cleansing foods with more salads, such as lettuce and pomegranate, avocado and oranges, chicory and walnuts, etc. And more cooked vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, leeks, pumpkin, etc.
Then, I’m going to increase my liquid intake drinking two or three glasses of tepid water when I get up in the morning. During the day, I shall carry on drinking water and herbal teas such as dandelion, horsetail, which are diuretic and remineralising. I may add camomile, nettle or artichoke to assist liver function.
Last, but not least, I shall take a good walk everyday.
In three or four weeks, I should be back in touch with Nature’s rhythm, ready for the Spring.
Have I got anybody to join me?
¡Felices Reyes Magos!
More and more people fall into the category of what we may call “semi-sick”. They have something wrong with them, little aches and pains, feel uncomfortable, indigestion, some depression or anxiety, difficulty concentrating etc .etc. – nothing sufficient for a doctor to diagnose and give a name to or prescribe an effective treatment for. So, the symptoms come and go, may get worse but very seldom seem to disappear completely. The body’s not quite up to sorting out these little problems.
Western Medicine has followed the highly scientific mode of determining the nature of an illness on the basis of its symptoms and causes, giving the illness a name and then treating it with medicines (which often have side effects) or surgery which is not strictly necessary.
However, the natural tendency of a living organism is to cure itself. Surely, the most effective and natural way to cure an illness is to stimulate self healing.
As a result of this dilemma many people are now re-evaluating oriental health systems where the emphasis is on stimulating and supporting the body’s powers of self-cure within a therapy that is in harmony with each individual’s entire organism.
Shiatsu is such a system: – for, the healthy, the semi-sick and the sick.
The months of autumn in Chinese Medicine relate to the element metal represented by the energies of Lung and Large intestine which control the elimination and respiratory systems.
The external injuring condition affecting these energies is cold which starts to become prevalent in these months and our bodies need to adjust to this. The body areas related to these energies are the shoulders, abdomen and chest and the negative emotions, grief and depression. The body fluid corresponding to metal is mucus which of course lines all the surfaces of these two systems.
Metal energy is the most contractive of all the energies. It is not surprising then, that during the months of autumn many people tend to have respiratory and elimination upsets and are more susceptible to depression as our bodies are adjusting to the new seasonal conditions.
In a Shiatsu treatment to help these problems we would treat the relevant energy meridian / s along with others which would nurture or help unblock stuck and contracted energy (e.g. earth and fire energies).Stretches and other dispersion techniques might also be used. Advice on suitable stretches and breathing exercises to open and free contracted energies would be given along with nutritional suggestions. Rice and ginger are regarded as particularly nurturing foods for the metal element.
In whom do they trust? Primarily in themselves and in their own bodies ability to recuperate and return to its natural state of healthy balance.
In addition they trust in the ability of the practitioner they have chosen to orientate their healing path, give helpful advice and an appropriate nurturing treatment.
A personal friend of ours has recently recuperated from a long standing thyroid problem after choosing to have a course of homeopathy treatments. She tells us that all the unpleasant symptoms have disappeared and she feels very well and now considers herself cured. She doesn’t feel the need to have a conventional clinical analysis to confirm she has recuperated her health. She trusts what her body feels.
We thank our friend for sharing this enriching experience with us and congratulate her.
We first learn techniques, tools to do our work with. We learn, what they are and then how and when to use them. The more we use them the more confidence we get and if we pay attention the more we get to notice what happens when we do things in a certain way, move faster, slower, apply more or less pressure, pause, listen, feel and sense with our hands and our body. How and what we say, see, hear and even what we smell contribute to a treatment. It is the integration of all our senses to connect with and help others.
It is a journey of personal development, getting to know more about ourselves, who and what we are in relation to our environment and to the people we treat and those around us. We are able to benefit others as well as ourselves. It’s exciting and its fun and it’s continuous because there is always something new and different to learn.
Help yourself and help others – learn a therapy.
Refined white flours which are almost exclusively used in our day to day bakery products use only the endosperm of a cereals grain (mainly pure carbohydrate – which provides us with energy). This is absorbed quickly into our bodies and can rapidly raise blood sugar levels. Consumption in excess, over time, can cause obesity, diabetes and many other ailments including cardiovascular problems.
Wholegrain flours however contain all the natural ingredients of the cereal grain: the husk (insoluble fibre), the germ (proteins and vitamins, generally B group, minerals, unsaturated fats) and the endosperm (carbohydrates).
Wholegrain flours contain all the necessary components to assist the digestion and absorption of the nutrients in the grains. They allow the carbohydrates to be released and absorbed gradually and do not unduly raise blood sugar levels. Their fibre content aids the cleaning and transit of waste through the digestive system and also absorbs toxins which are excreted with the waste. They are a complete food when used in their complete form.
They each have a unique taste so do your self a favour, try buying or even better baking with wholemeal flours. Some of the better known ones are Spelt, Kamut, Rye ,Maize and Oats.